BATO executive John Baratta, left, plays host to new Bridgestone Americas Inc. CEO and President Gordon Knapp. Pricing is an issue, says Knapp.

Bridgestone Targets OE, Larger Sizes, and the ‘Boss’

New tire lines, increased marketing efforts and sales support for dealers, plus a “doubling down” on its consumer focus were the major highlights from the Bridgestone Consumer Tire Business Meeting held last month in Los Angeles. Roughly 200 dealers were in attendance.

The driving simulation room features a race car parked in front of a large curved screen that offers a 360-degree view. The simulator primarily tests handling, but braking and other variables also are measured.

Hankook Sees the Future in the Technodome

Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. wants its new research and development center to make a statement. The 1-million-square-foot structure in Daejeon, Korea, a city known as “Asia’s Silicon Valley,” is an impressive sight. The building was designed by the same architect who created Apple’s world headquarters, and the stark white floors and walls of windows give the space a modern, Apple-ish look.

Hunter says quick alignment checks are a high-profit preventative maintenance sales tool. Hunter’s system provides alignment readings on the entire truck at a glance.

Heavy-Duty Alignment Opportunities

Improved tire wear and better fuel efficiency are the benefits of a properly aligned commercial truck. Yet many operators neglect alignments, according to major tire equipment manufacturers who estimate that up to 70% of commercial vehicles need the service.

Twin Valley Tire’s flagship location in Milbank, S.D., sells everything from consumer tires to farm and off-the-road tires. But used farm tires are a big part of the bottom line, and Jamie LaRoche, part-owner of Twin Valley, says the dealership sells them online and ships them to Mexico, Indonesia, and Canada.

Dealers Find Their Own Farm Tire Niches

Corn and soybean farmers near Twin Valley Tire Inc. in Milbank, S.D., have had a good year. The rain fell at the right time, and farmers harvested record yields of the region’s biggest crops. “Most said it was the best they’d ever seen,” says Jamie LaRoche, part-owner of the tire dealership with Brendan Van Sambeek.


The Brexit Cloud Continues to Dominate the European Tire Market

As I write this article, America is deciding on its next president after what I’m sure everyone agrees has been a long period of campaigning and arguments. In Europe as well there has been a recent period of debated uncertainty as it is now almost six months since the UK population decided by an extremely narrow 52% to 48% majority to leave the European Union.


Building Trust Through Engagement Skills

You can buy advertising, but you can’t buy trust. I’m an outgoing person. I like to engage people in a wide variety of ways, mostly individually or in smaller groups because I like understanding what people are really saying. I take responsibility seriously. I often feel the weight and responsibility that is inherent in certain situations.

Rob Butz says Bosch has spent the last five years working on augmented reality technology with original equipment customers. Next year it will be ready for the aftermarket to help shops work more efficiently.

2016 AAPEX: A Look at the Brave New World of a Shop’s Service Bay

The consumer world may be obsessed with virtual reality games and experiences, but in the automotive field, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is finding a place for augmented reality technology to help technicians work faster and explain repairs more easily to consumers. This isn’t a far-off dream for sci-fi fans. At the 2016 Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo (AAPEX), Bosch said it expects to bring the futuristic technology to the aftermarket in 2017.

Roy Littlefield IV, or RL4 as he’s known within the Tire Industry Association, provided members with a legislative update during the SEMA Show.

3 Editors, 3 Takes: On the Rise, and On the Show Floor

When I suggested Modern Tire Dealer unveil On the Rise, our list of young industry leaders, at the biggest industry event of the year, I expected a few eager participants to respond. I knew the leaders were out there, and I thought I’d meet one or two in Las Vegas.

Mike Brown says marketing is a two-step process. First, nail your strategy. That means knowing what your brand means and what is most important to your audience. Second, think about creativity. “And don’t screw up the order.”

2016 SEMA Show/Global Tire Expo

Mud-terrain tires were among the hot products at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, along with industry experts eager to answer all-important questions like how to sell more tires.

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